Player rat­ings

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Rugby - By Gavin Cum­miskey

15 Joey Car­bery 14 Fer­gus McFad­den 13 Garry Rin­grose 12 Rob­bie Hen­shaw 11 Isa Nacewa 10 Johnny Sex­ton 9 Luke McGrath 1 Jack McGrath 2 Richardt Strauss 3 Tadhg Fur­long 4 Devin Toner 5 Hay­den Triggs 6 Rhys Rud­dock 7 Dan Leavy 8 Jack Co­nan


6 Sean Cronin and Josh van der Flier are qual­ity re­place­ments against most clubs but they barely dam­aged the Cler­mont size. Jami­son Gib­son-Park dis­trib­uted well. Zane Kirch­ner made one poor con­tri­bu­tion.

Coach­ing team

7 May be the play­ers woke up all by them­selves but some­thing must have been said for them to come out with such a stun­ning sec­ond half ri­poste.

Leo Cullen: has to take some credit for sec­ond half re­vival

7 Proneto the oc­ca­sional er­ror but showed well against the class of Mor­ganParra, sav­ingLe­in­ster afew­timeswith his­cover de­fence­and box kick­ing. JamisonGib­son-Park is the ideal re­place­ment as­thetempo in­creases.

7 Avoided asec­ondyel­low (and red)card by thecom­mon senseof NigelOwen­sas the game swung Cl er mont’ s way. De served thesin bin­ning as het­ugged David Stret­tle’s jersey asCar­bery was­caught flat footed in­de­fence.

6 Typ­i­cally con­fronta­tional show­ingfrom the vet­er­an­winger who­forced his way­in­tothe tea­mandthereby re­movedthe try scor­ing tal­ents of Adam Byrne. Re­placed by Zane Kirch­ner who­promptly ran out of play. Costly.

7 On­ly­lasted abruis­ing hour un­der the Lyon sun­which­was sur­pris­ing con­sid­er­ing CianHealy’s sus­pen­sion. Peter Doo­ley cameinto re­in­force Le­in­ster’s depth in the po­si­tion­but Healy’s im­pact­was sorely missed.

8 There’ s nodip ina Hen shaw per­for­mance. Them an will carry and tackle into dou­ble fig­ures, re­gard­less of the op­po­si­tion, re­gard­less of the oc­ca­sion. Took enor­mous pun­ish­ment, and­main­tained his im­pact.

8 Im­mense.Bullish car­ry­ing cov­ered the los­sof SeanO’Brien as acon­sis­tentstring of­calf in­juries were shelved for this one her­culean80 minute ef­fort to force Le­in­ster over the gain­line.

7 Ar­guably­ex­posed de­fen­sivelyas Cler­mont pouredthrough for their early tries but was su­perb ly elu­sive to spark the Le­in­ster re­vival. Rob Kear­ney prob­a­bly­would have­caught­that late Cler­mont restart.

7 WhenJamie Heaslipeven­tu­ally takes leave of the Le­in­ster andIre­land eight jersey,Co­nan look­sprimed for along term in­nings.Heaslip’s en­gine re­mainssu­pe­rior but car­ried aswell as any­one (ex­cept Fritz Lee).

7 Emp­tiedNick Aben­danon in mid­field and wa­so­ne­o­fonly twofrom the Le­in­ster front­five, the other be­ing McGrath, who showedup in the phys­i­cal­ity stakes as Cler­mont ran riot in the open­ing15 min­utes.

8 Bril­liantly ef­fi­cient. Kicked ev­ery­thing - even­tha­trapid late penalty - an­davoided heavy­pun­ish­ment while­m­anag­ing to hard­lyever an­noy Owens.Gam­bled­withshort 22drop out­that led to Lopez­drop­goal.

8 War­ren­should have lis­tened to Andy Far­rell. Only the rarest tal­entscores that 67thminute try.He­can­take enor­mous pun­ish­ment asoneblind-side tackle showed. Bril­liant swerveto put Car­bery into space.

7 Slid­ing­doors. Imag­ine here­leased Aurélien Rougerie’s an­kle just be­fore the of­fi­cials felt heim­peded the cen­tre from cov­er­ing the break tha­tled to Leavy run­ning phe­nom­e­nal­sup­port for the gamedefin­ing ‘try’.

5 Scoope­du­pand driven­back­wards in the early ex­changes but Toner’s value these past­few year­shas been­his en­gine. Re­cov­eredand­worked his heart out­for the en­tire 80.

5 Hon­estjour­ney­man­but Scott Fardyis looking world class in Su­per Rugby this sea­son. RossMolony was moreno­tice­able in the ball car­ry­ing stakes whenhe cameon but­thegame­had openedup.

5 Played­well, grow­ing into the dis­as­trous firsthalf but his im­pact sub, SeanCronin, made­s­omede­fen­sive and­han­dling er­ror­swhen Le­in­sterneed­ed­him to punc­ture the Cler­mont de­fence.

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